Add3 – Digital Marketing Agency with offices in Seattle & Portland

This is part of my series of posts that I’m putting together about how we approach PPC campaign management for our clients.

My planned PPC Campaign Domination topics:

Today’s topic is:

PPC Campaign Organization

Everyone at Amplify Interactive knows that I tend to obsess about organization. I have a folder for everything, I maintain a well pruned task list, I harp on them about keeping our project management systems up to date, we have a process in place for nearly everything, etc. So it should come as no surprise that  all of our PPC campaigns must be well organized and thought out so that our efforts at optimization are easy.

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”

-A.A. Milne

Success Starts at the Very Bottom –  Organizing Your Terms

One of the biggest PPC campaign pitfalls we see when we take over campaigns from someone else is that the previous owner was lazy and put too many terms into too few ad groups. Taking the time to organize your terms into granular, extremely focused ad groups makes things easier in the long run. Consider the following example:

Let’s say your company is called “SawCompany” and you make Circular Saws. After doing your keyword research, you realize there are three major categories of terms.

  1. Branded: terms that contain your brand name “sawcompany”
  2. Circular Saw: searches for circular saws ranging from general to extremely specific
  3. Safety/Injury Prevention: searches for safety features

In AdWords – we’ll turn these distinct categories into “campaigns”. Within these campaigns – we’ll organize the terms into specific ad groups where the terms within each ad group are specifically related to one another, and generally related to the general category. After some work – we come up with the following structure:

Example of an organized PPC campaign

Example of an organized PPC campaign

PPC Campaign Organization Will Set You Free

Organizing a campaign like this will give us the power to do two very specific things:

  1. Understand performance and manage our spend by term, group and category. If a particular Ad Group and/or Campaign is performing particularly well – we’ll be able to tell right away and explore options like allocating more budget to the top performing group/campaign so that our ads show as often as possible. We’ll also be able to tell if there’s a specific group or campaign that doesn’t perform very well so we can prune it from our spend and maintain a good quality score.
  2. Test ad copy at the ad group level and run the best possible ad copy for each individual group which will, you guessed it, help us to maintain a good quality score. If we didn’t have our search terms broken up into really specific ad groups, we might end up running the same ad copy for a term like “woodworking safety” that we do for “best contractor saw”. These terms are clearly entirely different and we should be serving different ads and landing pages for each.

There are other benefits to be sure, but I’m not going to give you all our secrets. Please feel free to share any PPC campaign management & organization tips with our readers by commenting below!

Ben Lloyd

About Ben Lloyd

Ben Lloyd serves as Principal at Add3 and manages the agency's Portland office.  Ben got his start in SEM way back in 1999 - when there was like, 15 search engines and Google was barely a thing. Prior to Add3, Ben had founded Amplify Interactive in 2003 (which was acquired by Add3 in 2013), and hasn't looked back since. Ben likes lots of stuff like golf, pinball, food(ie), booze/beer/wine - in that order, etc. Mostly - he likes doing that stuff with his friends. Ben is also co-founder of SEMpdx. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn

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